|The night of November 1, 2017, I was beaten half to death by my ex-boyfriend. He kicked me, punched me, pistol-whipped me, and took the battery out of my phone, therefore making it impossible for me to call anyone or for me to leave.
I never thought that someone I cared so deeply about would ever hurt me in as many ways as he did. But as much as he hurt me that night, what hurts more is every day I think about that night. I can’t sleep because I have flashbacks of the things he did to me. I can’t take a shower without feeling the water hit the scars on my face and feeling the pain that he caused me. I can’t go outside my door without fearing that he’s going to come around the corner and do it again. I’m afraid to be alone because I’m scared that he might just show up at my door and hurt me again.
That night I was taken to the hospital because I had multiple cuts on my face. But none of that compared to the pain that he caused me inside. That night he made me believe that I was nothing; he made me believe that my life did not matter. He made me question why I was even alive…why did he let me live that night? Because at one point, he almost killed me. I’ve gone through a lot in my life but nothing compares to how weak he made me feel. And even after the cops came, they let him go.
After I got out of the hospital and after I was able to go home, I broke down. I couldn’t look at myself because my scars reminded me of what happened. I was fearful that when I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I would see him and remember everything that happened all over again. I didn’t want to have to remember what happened. I didn’t want to have to go on with the rest of my life knowing what he did to me and knowing that there are so many people out there that look at him like he’s a god, that worship him, that think that he is such an amazing person. Even though he started off that way, I know that that’s not who he is.
So my only answer was suicide. I wanted to take my own life. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t want to live in fear. But I knew that if I went through with it, it would be one more thing that he took away from me. He would be taking away my chance of living life. I would be saying that he deserved to live more than I do because of what he did to me…and that wasn’t right. I deserved to be alive just as much as he did, and for that reason, I am here today. I’m still breathing and I promise I’m just going to get stronger because I won’t let him take everything I worked so hard to get to.
So many people have made me feel that whatever came out of my relationship with my ex, I deserve it…but I don’t really think they understand the power of those words. I imagined them thinking: You know what? If your heart gets broken, you deserve it because you’ve gone back to him so many times. Or if he cheats on you, you deserve it because he did it once before. Why were you stupid enough to go back to him?
We all have to battle something, and sometimes the battle gets really hard. It gets really hard to the point you don’t want to fight it anymore, but you have to keep fighting. No matter how hard it is, things will get better. What they don’t know is the sun has to come out. There are better days ahead.
I am stronger now that I can fight. I just have to understand that it’s all temporary and that healing take time. That’s why I’m keeping my chin up, breathing, and allowing myself to feel everything there is to feel. I’m going to get through. I just have to give it some time and I’ll heal. The things you think destroy you the most end up building you the most. And the things that you think are going to take away everything from you end up giving you the most.
I really hope, when others see the smile on my face, that they think of the pain I felt and went through. And I hope that it inspires others and makes them think of how, despite the pain they’ve experienced, one day they’ll look back and they’ll be smiling.
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DVS is a catalyst to eliminate domestic violence in Lancaster County through direct service, advocacy, and social change. DVS offers 24/7 hotline and text line, emergency shelter, counseling, children’s programming, legal advocacy and representation, and transitional housing. All services are free of charge and strictly confidential. DVS hosts professional trainings and community education and prevention sessions for schools, businesses and community and faith-based organizations. For more information, visit caplanc.org/DVS.
About Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County (CAP)
The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment. For more information, visit www.caplanc.org.